Nigerians face 35% electricity tariff increase — Official

Nigerians would soon be faced with a 35 per cent hike in electricity tariffs, officials said on Tuesday, as regulators seek to reposition a sector that has been moribund for decades.

At an interactive parley with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja, the management of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) said an upward review of prices by federal electricity regulators has commenced.

Ije Okeke, a finance executive at AEDC, told reporters that the company is looking at an average increase of about 35 percent. The session was held as part of AEDC’s effort to educate the public on its role in the highly controversial power sector, with officials lamenting that most of the blame was being heaped on them by politicians even when they have a restricted latitude to take key industry decisions.

Officials complained that about 60 per cent of the energy distributed to consumers failed to match revenue projections, adding additional burden to distributors’ portfolio.

Nigerians currently pay about N24 per kilowatt hour of electricity. A 35 per cent increase would jerk this to N32 per kilowatt hour. This could further enrage a populace already complaining about overbilling and under-delivery of service by distributors.

Okeke’s comments come as the Nigerian government announced plans to phase out estimated billing scheme, which allowed distributors to impose arbitrary charges on households without metering systems.

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